In these tough times, Idahoans deserve the chance to buy a home or attend college without having to worry about unfair marks from credit agencies.
That's why Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick is supportive of two key measures to make sure that people facing tough times don't have to worry about permanent damage to their credit scores.
"Too many Idahoans have had to argue with an insurance company over who is responsible for paying a medical bill, or have had to deal with an inaccurate item on a credit report due to fraud or error," Minnick said. "We need stringent measures to make sure that those disputes don't cost someone a chance at a mortgage or a college education."
Last month Minnick supported the bipartisan Credit Rating Agencies Reform bill when it passed the House Financial Services Committee. The bill clarified that individuals have the right to sue rating agencies, requires that the agencies be better supervised and that they have independent members on their boards of directors. The bill also requires greater public transparency by these agencies.
During the summer, Minnick signed on as an original co-sponsor of the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009. The bill prohibits credit bureaus from using settled medical debt as a determining factor in approval for mortgages and other consumer purchases. A 2008 study by the Commonwealth Fund found that 79 million Americans had problems with medical debt.
Even after the debt has been paid off or settled, the can linger and damage someone's credit score. However, under this bill the creditor or credit rating agency has 30 days from the date the debt is paid off or settled to expunge the collection from the consumer's record.